Vikings Locker Room…

During the summer of 1984, the Minnesota Vikings had a charity basketball team that traveled to my hometown in St. Cloud for a game against the St. Cloud Police at Halenbeck Hall. At some point my older brother and I decided to attend and after the game we decided to sneak into the locker room…yep we did :).

I was 8 and my brother Todd was 15 when we went through the Field house to a back door, up a set of stairs and found ourselves in the middle of about 10 over sized men in the showers.

We wasted no time as we went from player to player asking for autographs. Everyone was happy to oblige as they stood around in their towel…or less.

Perhaps my most memorable signing was from Cutis ‘Boo Boo’ Rouse. At the time he was the largest player in the National Football League and I was small for an 8 year old. I remember he asked me a few questions, signed my paper and then I was off to the next guy. I can only imagine what he was thinking about me coming up to him for his autograph…in the locker room.

Curtis Rouse

After getting our fill of autographs…we realized how out of place we really were. Our only option was to act like we belonged (which would have been impossible) or figure out some way to get out of there. Up until then I think we had an adrenaline rush…but soon after getting the autographs we were in a strange locker room where an 8 and 15 year old were clearly out of place.

We had two options…retrace our steps out the back door or keep moving through the locker room and head out the front door.

We opted for the front door…and that is when we were confirmed that we were totally out of place.

As we exited, we were met with what seemed like hundreds of people at the entrance just hoping for an autograph. I’m pretty sure we just laughed to ourselves as we fought our way through the crowds and back to our bikes to head home after an unforgettable evening with the Minnesota Vikings.

There is no doubt that if there was a security guard, he would have quickly shown us the exit because we simply didn’t belong in the locker room with the Minnesota Vikings.

It is never easy to face the reality that we don’t belong…which brings us to my sermon. This Sunday, we are going to finish up Romans 9. The underlying truth of this chapter is about belonging. However it has nothing to do with a locker room and everything to do with the family of God.

Like my brother and I, there is nothing we could have done to earn the right to be in that locker room, but unlike my brother and I, there is no sneaking in to the family of God…but there is a way in and that is what we will cover on Sunday from Romans 9:24-33.

I hope to see you soon,

Troy

Cat Diaries…

Dat diary

Last night at our downtown community group meeting we were discussing how there are times when we question the plan of God and how it relates to our lives. A highlight was when our host suggested that maybe a look at the “Cat Diaries” could help with our understanding.

For starters, I am not a cat guy…if I am anything I am a dog guy, but even that is questionable most of the time.

In my (humble) opinion, cats have too much drama. They seem to be judgmental and temperamental…and if you are a cat person, like your cat, you are probably already judging me… :).

So this morning, I took up the challenge to watch the “Cat Diaries.”

Wow! 🙂 🙂 🙂

If you decide to watch the link, remember, the diary entries are written from the perspective of a cat…questioning the sanity, goodness and kindness of its owner…

Here are my favorite lines…read in a somber voice…

“Dear Diary, my food dish is now only  half full, it is obvious that I will soon starve to death…this may be my last entry”

“Dear Diary, it has come to my attention that the authorities have two hands, they seem to have made it their sadistic policy only to pet me with one of them at a time. Half of love is just lo which is how I feel. My spirit is breaking.”

“Dear Diary, I have been stalking an insect on the wall for the past three days now. All of my attempts to catch it have been thwarted. However today on further inspection, I found out that the insect was in fact a thumbtack. There is no logic in this place.”

Unfortunately, I think my own thoughts about the goodness of God may resemble those cat diaries at times.

How often do I question the goodness of God without being privy to all of the information? I know there are moments when I wonder if God will keep His promises or if I will be rejected and alone.

This Sunday, we continue our verse by verse study and will cover Romans 9:19-23. If you get some time to read Romans 8-9 before Sunday morning that would be ideal.

These verses written by the Apostle Paul attempt to answer the question we have about whether God should hold us accountable for our sin. There is so much great material, you won’t want to miss.

I hope you can come early, service starts at 10:45am!

Troy

“God made me…”

Boys at park

Earlier, I got to take the boys to the park for a few minutes to burn off some energy. When given a choice they like to go to the park by ‘fort’…It’s actually the one by ‘family court’ but they have shortened it to ‘fort’.

They played on the swings, went down the slides, climbed on the ropes and tried their best to outrun me…which didn’t happen of course and then I was tired out and it was time to leave.

On the way back to the van there is a stone wall that is probably 150 feet long and the boys love to run along the top of it. I was staying by Ian who is three while he climbed and ran on top of the wall. Just as we got back to the van I asked him, “how did you get to be so brave?

Without skipping a beat, he replied, “because God made me.”

I know it sounds like a powerful statement of faith from a three year old, but I am still a bit skeptical…as soon as we got home and it was time for a nap, he started crying and throwing a fit…not sure where the “because God made me” was then, but at least for a moment, I enjoyed the fact that he is catching on to something about who made him and sustains him.

This Sunday our topic will be along the lines of “because God made me.” We will continue our study through Romans and will look mostly at Romans 9:6-18. In theses verses Paul makes the point that God is sovereign. He is in complete control…and that’s a good thing….a really good thing.

Not only does our faith in the sovereignty of God make us brave for balancing on top of stone walls, it also gives us confidence for our faith.

I am very excited for one of our elders, James Cottier to bring the sermon. Prior to that we will have a time of worship with Jordan Marcotte and crew and our community in context will be a panel discussion on Black History Month and why it applies to our church community.

I sure hope to see you at 10:45am on Sunday,

Troy

Inside out…

This past week I was driving our two oldest boys, ages five and six along with their friend who is also six to soccer practice. They were watching, “Inside Out” and their conversation was priceless.

Inside-Out-Puppy-Bowl-TV-spot

The movie follows a young girl from Minnesota  that takes you on a journey from the Inside Out to discover the emotional roller coaster inside her head. There are several emotions such as: joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness.

While they were watching it, Isaiah asked the boys, “Who do you want to be?”

Their little friend said, “Sadness, because sometimes when I’m sad I cry and sometimes when I cry my mom and dad give me candy.”

Inside Out - sadness

I almost laughed out loud….

Very quickly Dallas replied, “That would never happen to me.”

Well said son…

This Sunday we won’t be watching “Inside Out”, but we will be talking about emotions. We will study from Romans 9:1-5 where we learn that the Apostle Paul was filled with great sorrow over the status of his fellow Jews.

There is no doubt you have experienced joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness many times over this week. I can’t promise you any candy, but I can promise you some hope to help you on your journey of life.